Right Field

Reveille 11/18/13

Good morning.

Here are several links from the past week that will make your offseason Tuesday a bit more bearable:

We shouldn’t expect Byrd to be nearly as good as he showed last season in any facet. At his absolute best in 2013, he was worth 5 Wins Above Replacement, per BR; 4 WAR per FanGraphs. However, the contract has an average annual value of $8 million, which pays Byrd like a slightly below average player (about 1.5 WAR). Byrd has mostly ranged from 2–3.5 in recent years, so the contract either slightly underpays him or is more or less fair value, depending on exactly how pessimistic you are about Byrd’s production over the next two years.

But as with so many developments during Bud Selig’s age of change, I’d worry about the unanticipated consequences.

Take the suggestion that sustained challenges don’t count against your manager’s limit of two per game. If you figure out how to only make sustainable challenges, that’s a cap you might never have to worry about reaching.

Does anyone think a team on its home field wouldn’t deploy its own resources and exploit wireless technology to communicate when the man in the dugout should throw his official red beanbag of protest onto the diamond? If there’s a way to be found, you can bet the Rays will do it. Or the A’s. Or the Astros. Or somebody, because the drive to get a competitive edge — via technology, intel or personnel, by fair means and foul — is as old as the game itself.

  • Earned-run average is a fatally flawed metric, contends Beyond the Boxscore’s Bryan Gosnick, and so ”needs to go away.”

 

 

  • Kudos to Al Yellon of Bleed Cubbie Blue for sharing a color broadcast of the last three innings of Jim Maloney’s no-hitter at Wrigley Field on August 19, 1965. And the fun isn’t only on the field: Be sure too to check out the Hamm’s Beer commercial.

That’s it. Have a walk-off week!

Jason Epstein is the president of Southfive Strategies, LLC. He was a public-relations consultant for the Turkish embassy in Washington from 2002 to 2007.

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